A new methodology to detect novel-coronavirus has been developed by researchers at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D), reports The Economic Times.
The method will significantly reduce the testing cost making it affordable for large sections. The test is being validated on clinical samples by the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune.
The new method called the "probe-free detection assay" was developed at IIT-D’s Kusuma School of Biological Sciences. As per the researchers, the test has been optimised and tested for sensitivity at the research laboratories of the Institute.
The indigenous test kit comes as a shot in the arm for the nation amid the growing Covid-19 cases. Once it gets final approval of NIV, Pune, the methodology can be scaled up and will enable test to be performed at a much cheaper cost and hence will be affordable for general public.
Earlier, the central government on Saturday (Mar 21) recommended that the maximum charge for each COVID-19 test by private laboratories should not exceed Rs 4,500.
All private laboratories which have NABL accreditation for real-time PCR SA for RNA virus will be allowed to conduct COVID-19 tests, according to the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for COVID-19 testing in private laboratories, which were notified by the Union Health Ministry on Saturday night.
The National Task Force recommends that the maximum cost for testing should not exceed Rs 4,500. This may include Rs 1,500 as a screening test for suspect cases and an additional Rs 3,000 for confirmation test, the guidelines said.